China’s first consignment of high-speed armoured vehicles the can be dropped from a plane has reportedly entered service in the province of Hubei.
The airborne armoured vehicles will strengthen the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force and have already entered service in the eastern Chinese province of Hubei, according to local media.
The four-wheeled vehicles, armed with machine guns, will provide paratroopers enhanced firepower, mobility and protection.
The light-armoured vehicles were developed by the state-owned company Norinco (China North Industries Group Corporation Limited).
The vehicles can be airdropped from cargo aircraft and they boast accurate firepower, good protection and a state-of-the-art electronics system, according to reports.
PLA Air Force officer Yang Liang told local media: “Three of this type of vehicle can be consecutively airdropped from one cargo aircraft.
“It is fast, shoots accurately, can float in water, has good armour and can conduct assault and armed reconnaissance missions in plateaus and cold regions.”
On the ground, the vehicle allows paratroopers to become an airborne infantry force with high mobility and firepower, according to reports.
It can be used with ZBD-03 airborne infantry fighting vehicle, which was showcased at the 2019 National Day parade in the Chinese capital Beijing.
The ZBD-03, the only previous armoured vehicle that could be airdropped, has greater firepower but reportedly relies on crawler tracks.
Reports said the new four-wheeled vehicle is considered lighter and faster than the ZBD-03.
Meanwhile, as well as the aforementioned vehicles, China has also developed an airdrop-capable four-wheeled vehicle with a fixed turret gun, a multiple rocket launch system and an airborne 120mm howitzer, according to local media.
The three types of airdrop-capable light armoured vehicles were previously showcased at Airshow China 2018 held in the city of Zhuhai.
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